US Army names first woman infantry officer

  • 29/04/2016
US Army names first woman infantry officer

The US Army has announced Captain Kristen Griest as their first female infantry officer.

The announcement by the US Army yesterday marks a significant milestone for the US military as it opens up combat roles for women.

Griest was one of two women who made history last year after becoming one of the first female soldiers to pass the Army's gruelling course to qualify for the elite Rangers unit.

Earlier this month, the US Army said it had approved requests from more than 20 women to enter the infantry and armor branches, both of which face the possibility of combat. The armor branch includes tanks.

Last year it said it would let women serve in all combat roles, a historic move striking down gender barriers in the armed forces.

As of mid-2015, nearly 12 percent of US forces deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan were women. They represented about 2 percent of US military deaths in those wars.